Soldermask for Via Holes and Pads

Recently, Eurocircuits introduced a spray coating process for Soldermask, this brings many advantages including a thinner and more unified coating which helps us to meet today’s technology challenges.

The Soldermask is imaged using a Dai Nippon Ledia Direct Imaging system; this improves registration accuracy and eliminates the need for Photo-tools.

The spray coating of Soldermask is only achievable due to the low viscosity of the ink. Due to this low viscosity however, there may also be Soldermask ink in the barrel of the Via Hole. This may or may not remain after final curing depending upon the data provided by the customer.

The Soldermask data we receive for Via’s (holes and pads) varies from customer to customer, the Via’s may have no Soldermask Opening, meaning they are to be completely covered with Soldermask, also known as Tented Via’s.

Fully Tented Via Holes cannot be guaranteed with spray coating due to the viscosity of the ink. There may be a small opening in the Soldermask above the Via Hole and there may be Soldermask residue in the barrel after curing. To avoid this we strongly recommend using our Via Filling option when ordering PCB’s with Tented Via’s.

If the data shows untended Via Holes or Pads we follow our standard design rules, as below:

Minimum Soldermask Opening of 0.4mm

or

Actual drill size (TOOLSIZE) +0.15mm

Whichever is the larger

 

Additionally, we ensure that our other design rules for Soldermask are also met, as below:

  • MAR(Mask Annular Ring) – the clearance between the Soldermask and the copper pad.
  • MSM(Mask SegMent) – the bridge of Soldermask between adjacent pads.
  • MOC(Mask Overlap Clearance) – Soldermask coverage between a track or plane and an adjacent Soldermask Opening.

Please also see our:

RoHS and Lead-free Compliance

What is RoHS?

RoHS regulations are designed to limit or eliminate substances that are dangerous to the environment and to people. Inadequately treated e-waste poses environmental and health risks. The RoHS directive is also meant to increase the amount of e-waste that is appropriately treated and to reduce the volume that goes to disposal.

RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances) regulations limit specific substances – lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), mercury, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants – in electrical and electronic equipment.

Does RoHS affect the quality of PCBs?

RoHS is not a quality standard, and the simple fact that boards are RoHS compatible does not add to the quality of the board. RoHS, or more familiar ‘lead-free’ does have serious effect on PCB fabrication and soldering. The fact that boards are soldered at higher temperatures requires changes in the PCB manufacturing process. New FR-4 materials are developed to withstand the higher temperatures without reducing the lifetime of the final product. More info can be found in our article about lead-free soldering

RoHS and RoHS2 directives

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union created a program that standardizes the restriction and use of hazardous substances within the EU while contributing to the protection of human health and the environment. The EU has published Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment and Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (recast). These directives are commonly referred to as the RoHS and RoHS2 directives.

What is RoHS compliance? – RoHS declaration

RoHS compliance means acting in full accordance with RoHS regulations.

DECLARATION

We certify that all components and all homogeneous subcomponents manufactured by Eurocircuits are in compliance with the directive 2011/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive), amended by Directive (EU) 2015/863

According to supplier’s information we certify the non-use of:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg) also known as quicksilver
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent Chromium (Cr VI)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)
  • Disobutyl Phthalate (DIBP)

We deem that our products are also compliant with the China RoHS (the Administration on the Control of the Pollution caused by Electronic Information Products).

We certify the non-use of:

  • Ozone depleting substances (excluding HCFC) according to the Montreal Protocol
  • Polychloro-napthalene
  • Poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), its mixtures, its copolymers
  • Halogenated organic compounds as PCB,PBE, polychloro-naphtalene, Deca-BDE

A certificate, signed by two directors that are authorised to represent Eurocircuits, can be found here.

For Eurocircuits ,

Lengyel Norbert

Quality Assurance manager

Cross Sections – What is their Purpose ?

PCB Services | eC Solutions

Eurocircuits uses cross sections as part of its quality control

Cross sections are a power tool that ensures high quality production and products.

Preparation of a cross section is a destructive process, a section of the production panel is cut out, in most cases a specially designed Test coupon is used (these are placed on every panel).

The removed section is mounted in a special jig and encased in resin, an automated system then grinds and polishes the surface until the actual section to be inspected is visible.

Using high powered microscopes our quality department inspect a variety of features, for a plated through hole the plating thickness, plating uniformity and drill alignment would be checked and measured. For an Outer layer the copper track width, plating thickness and uniformity would be checked and measured. If solder mask is present the thickness and uniformity of it would be measured.

Eurocircuits recently introduced via filling. Cross sections were used in the initial set up to ensure the process provided consistent and high quality results.

Cross sections can be taken at any step of the production cycle and is a critical part of the Eurocircuits quality procedures and it enables us to provide our customers with high quality products time and time again.

Should you have any questions about any of our services, please feel free to get in touch via email, telephone or instantly with our online chat during office hours. We will be more than happy to help.

Why not follow us on our social media, keeping up to date with all of our latest news?

           

Blogs

Customer papers

If you are an active Eurocircuits’ customer and you feel like you have some interesting story to share with our Eurocircuits community, then please send it to us by e-mail. We will evaluate the content and if it fits the scope of what we publish then we will take it on board and inform you of it.

Production

“How do we make IMS boards?”, explained on Eurocircuits TV.

All the details about our movie can be read in text form in our BLOG.

eC-tools

We publish articles as tip & tricks or videos on Eurocircuits TV to help our designer customers to maximise their efficiency by using our tools. We also publish seminars on how to use our smart tools. Here is one: “Introduction to Eurocircuits’ smart tools: PCB Configurator, PCB Visualizer”

eC-equipment

Here we release articles about our eC-equipment and their use.

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

Come and meet us at

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face. Check out our eC-calendar

Eurocircuits meets students

Supporting student projects is a top priority for Eurocircuits as students are our tomorrows customers. Learn how creative these students are and what they have accomplished.

Eurocircuits – Tips & Tricks – How do we use our galvanic line to dispose copper?

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Summer holidays are over - share your technical insights

Eurocircuits – Tips & Tricks – How do we use our galvanic line to dispose copper?

At Eurocircuits we solidly believe that it is important to inform our design engineers about the technology we use to produce their Printed Circuit Boards.

Engineers constantly strive to upgrade their knowledge to become better engineers.

Design for Manufacturing is an important issue for which a good technical insight in production techniques is required. Eurocircuits likes to help to upgrade this technology insight.

Eurocircuits TV has made an informative piece on how copper is deposited on the PCB in the galvanic process.


All the details about our movie can be read in text form in our BLOG.

Should you have any questions about any of our services, please feel free to get in touch via email, telephone or instantly with our online chat during office hours. We will be more than happy to help.

Why not follow us on our social media, keeping up to date with all of our latest news?

                

Blogs

Customer papers

Recently our customers have shared these white papers and application papers with us:

How to Prevent Emission Problems on Board Level – NEW
Posted on behalf of CNRood, active in the BeNeLux & Sweden. For many, the result of an EMC test comes as an unpleasant surprise. Large amounts of money and time are spent in re-designing the product, which causes heavy delays. The main cause of these additional costs and delays can be related to the designer’s opportunities, knowledge and desire to perform an EMC test on the product as early as possible. In this article, the author will give some simple advice and examples of test methods useful for avoiding undesired emission.
Suitability of an enhanced low melting point alloy for a handheld device – NEW
Posted on behalf of Interflux Electronics NV. Current lead-free soldering temperatures can damage temperature sensitive components. Moreover they can cause a shift in the properties of some components which can impact the functionality of sensitive electronic devices. An easy way to solve this problem is to use a soldering alloy with a lower melting point that allows for lower soldering temperatures. Currently however these alloys have limitations in shock and vibration resistance.
Intelligent Power Switch for Raspberry Pi – NEW
Posted on behalf of Peter Boxler. A Raspberry Pi does not have an On/Off switch and there is no easy way to shutdown the Pi while keeping the file system intact. This Intelligent Power Switch brings a clever solution to this problem: Power-On the Pi by pressing a pushbutton and also properly Power-Off the Pi with another press on the same button.
Low-cost calibrator delivers -5V to +10V DS with 70-µV error – NEW
Posted on behalf of Jordan Dimitrov. Calibration, the stage of truth in the design of every test and measurement device, is done with calibrators, sophisticated highly accurate multifunctional instruments, which cost thousands of dollars. In many cases however you do not need to go to the edge of technology.

If you are an active Eurocircuits’ customer and you feel like you have some interesting story to share with our Eurocircuits community, then please send it to us by e-mail. We will evaluate the content and if it fits the scope of what we publish then we will take it on board and inform you of it.

Production

Eurocircuits TV has started to capture the production steps one by one. Here’s what is published

eC-tools

We publish articles as tip & tricks or videos on Eurocircuits TV to help our designer customers to maximise their efficiency by using our tools.

eC-equipment

Here we release articles about our eC-equipment and their use.

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

Come and meet us at

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face. Check out our eC-calendar

  • 11 October – D&E event – Technopolis – Mechelen – Belgium – COMING UP SOON
  • 12 October – D&E event – 1931 – Brabanthallen – De Bosch – The Netherlands – COMING UP SOON
  • 18-19 October – Electronics Design Show – Ricoh Arena – Coventry – UK
  • 8-9 November – Prototyping 2017 – Kortrijk – Belgium
  • 29 November – LED event – Technopolis – Mechelen – Belgium
  • 30 November – LED event – 1931 – Brabanthallen – De Bosch – The Netherlands

Eurocircuits meets students

Supporting student projects is a top priority for Eurocircuits as students are our tomorrows customers. Learn how creative these students are and what they have accomplished.

Eurocircuits – Tips & Tricks – How do we Expose the Soldermask during Production?

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Summer holidays are over - share your technical insights

Eurocircuits – Tips & Tricks – How do we Expose the Soldermask during Production?

Every year Eurocircuits makes significant investments in its production plants to upgrade efficiency but also and even more important to upgrade the quality and reliability of the final product we deliver.

One of these fields of investment is the Soldermask department. Smaller and more complex component packages put tolerances of the Soldermask towards SMD solder lands under pressure. The answer here is direct imaging of the Soldermask to allow for smaller tolerances and better registration. This results into an improvement of efficiency in the PCB Assembly.

Eurocircuits TV has made a nice informative contribution to this subject.


All the details about our movie can be read in text form in our BLOG.

Should you have any questions about any of our services, please feel free to get in touch via email, telephone or instantly with our online chat during office hours. We will be more than happy to help.

Why not follow us on our social media, keeping up to date with all of our latest news?

                

Blogs

Customer papers

Recently our customers have shared these white papers and application papers with us:

How to Prevent Emission Problems on Board Level – NEW
Posted on behalf of CNRood, active in the BeNeLux & Sweden. For many, the result of an EMC test comes as an unpleasant surprise. Large amounts of money and time are spent in re-designing the product, which causes heavy delays. The main cause of these additional costs and delays can be related to the designer’s opportunities, knowledge and desire to perform an EMC test on the product as early as possible. In this article, the author will give some simple advice and examples of test methods useful for avoiding undesired emission.
Suitability of an enhanced low melting point alloy for a handheld device – NEW
Posted on behalf of Interflux Electronics NV. Current lead-free soldering temperatures can damage temperature sensitive components. Moreover they can cause a shift in the properties of some components which can impact the functionality of sensitive electronic devices. An easy way to solve this problem is to use a soldering alloy with a lower melting point that allows for lower soldering temperatures. Currently however these alloys have limitations in shock and vibration resistance.
Intelligent Power Switch for Raspberry Pi – NEW
Posted on behalf of Peter Boxler. A Raspberry Pi does not have an On/Off switch and there is no easy way to shutdown the Pi while keeping the file system intact. This Intelligent Power Switch brings a clever solution to this problem: Power-On the Pi by pressing a pushbutton and also properly Power-Off the Pi with another press on the same button.
Low-cost calibrator delivers -5V to +10V DS with 70-µV error – NEW
Posted on behalf of Jordan Dimitrov. Calibration, the stage of truth in the design of every test and measurement device, is done with calibrators, sophisticated highly accurate multifunctional instruments, which cost thousands of dollars. In many cases however you do not need to go to the edge of technology.

If you are an active Eurocircuits’ customer and you feel like you have some interesting story to share with our Eurocircuits community, then please send it to us by e-mail. We will evaluate the content and if it fits the scope of what we publish then we will take it on board and inform you of it.

Production

Eurocircuits TV has started to capture the production steps one by one. Here’s what is published

eC-tools

We publish articles as tip & tricks or videos on Eurocircuits TV to help our designer customers to maximise their efficiency by using our tools.

eC-equipment

Here we release articles about our eC-equipment and their use.

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

Come and meet us at

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face. Check out our eC-calendar

  • 11 October – D&E event – Technopolis – Mechelen – Belgium – COMING UP SOON
  • 12 October – D&E event – 1931 – Brabanthallen – De Bosch – The Netherlands – COMING UP SOON
  • 18-19 October – Electronics Design Show – Ricoh Arena – Coventry – UK
  • 8-9 November – Prototyping 2017 – Kortrijk – Belgium
  • 29 November – LED event – Technopolis – Mechelen – Belgium
  • 30 November – LED event – 1931 – Brabanthallen – De Bosch – The Netherlands

Eurocircuits meets students

Supporting student projects is a top priority for Eurocircuits as students are our tomorrows customers. Learn how creative these students are and what they have accomplished.

A New Soldermask for Eurocircuits’ PCBs.

Last year we made one of the group’s largest investments by installing the Ledia direct imaging system in our plant in Eger – Hungary. We can use Ledia to expose inner layers, outer layers and Soldermask as well. With the Ledia we can produce PCB’s with tighter tolerances on images and Soldermask.

To better optimize all advantages that Direct Imaging of thev Soldermask with the Ledia has to offer, we needed to change the Soldermask to another type. Still from the same supplier, Sun Chemicals, CAWS2708 LDI is better suited for the Ledia’s imaging process.

With this new, professional and reliable Soldermask, we can expose our production panels faster than with the previous type. In combination with Direct Imaging, we can also achieve much better results on registration accuracy.

The surface of the new Soldermask is perfect for soldering. The matt finish helps with the alignment for placing components and it is better suited for automatic optical inspection after soldering. We are convinced that this Soldermask is a modern and user-friendly product.

  

We made lot’s of tests with the new Soldermask and all test results were very convincing. The many micro sections we have made, show that the thickness and coverage of the Soldermask are also very good. We measured at least 10 micron of Soldermask on the edges of the tracks.

The left picture shows the Soldermask we use in Eurocircuits Eger and the right picture shows the Soldermask of Eurocircuits Aachen.

 

In Eurocircuits Aachen we are using the sister product of the CAWS2708 LDI of Sun Chemical. The CAWN2295 used in Aachen has the same RAL colour of the one in Eger and has the same technical features. Nevertheless, there will be optical differences between the two because of the different application method. We use curtain coating in Germany and spray coating in Hungary.

The physical and chemical properties of both Soldermask types are the same after the curing process and both have very good electrical properties. Last but not least we can state that the new Soldermask has excellent characteristics for the adhesion to the copper surface.

To summarize we can conclude that the new Soldermask types we use in Eger and Aachen have better characteristics than what our customers were used to before although they might look a bit different than the previous types.